A few weeks ago I reviewed the lovely striped shirt dress from Joanie Clothing. Today I have another lovely outfit from them. I’ve really got a thing for orange at the moment, so I chose this fun sweater with a pretty polka dot skirt.

The Quinn polka dot skirt is a really above the knee skirt in 97% cotton 3% elastane, given the heaviness of cotton with a little stretch. It comes with a lovely plaited belt. I went for my usual size 14 in this and it fits really comfortably and is pretty true to size. The quality of the fabric is lovely and having washed it a few times now, its hasn’t faded or shrunk at all.

The Maddie Bonjour jumper, is a super soft and light and perfect for dressing up with skirts or for a casual look with jeans. I think this would work really well year round for summer evenings or autumn days with a blouse underneath. The print is made from braid rather than being printed on, these little details always make all the difference.

As I usually only wear dresses, so it’s really nice to go for something a bit different and this outfit is such a fun comfortable combination. I also love how versatile and mix and match both pieces are. I’m looking forward to trying them on with lots of my other clothes.

I’ve worn the outfit here with a floral hair band and a pair of simple brogues from Hotter.

Here are a few of my other favourites from the Joanie site, that go with the orange and blue theme.

Nautical TeeStripe Skirt – Sun HatCrab BagBardot Dress

Find the full range on the Joanie Clothing website.

*Thank you to Joanie Clothing for sending me this outfit for the purposes of review. All opinions as always are my own. 

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In the five and a bit years I’ve been writing my blog, I’ve sporadically done week in pictures posts. As well as being fun, I think it does me good to look back at my weeks and pick out the highlights and best bits. Being a work at home mum, most of my kid free time is spent either working or doing housework and although you won’t see that on my blog or Instagram it can all be a bit samey and boring! I do try to break my weeks up by making time for myself and for my friends and by doing nice things with the kids, so you’ll see a bit more of that in my weekly summaries, as this is definitely a place for the best bits! As I hadn’t planned this post, I haven’t taken pics for everyday but I’ll try to be a bit more organised for future weeks.

Monday:

The week started on a lovely note with a trip to Lila’s school. Her year were doing a little showcase to show the parents what they’d learnt this year. They all did so well and their singing and dancing was adorable. Lila talked about science and I was a very proud mummy.

When I got home I did a lot of cleaning and then Fay popped over and we went to the tattoo shop to get her nose pierced. She was very brave! Fay stayed at mine for a bit while I did some cleaning and made the iced tea and took the pics for my T2 post, which I posted a couple of days ago.

Tuesday:

Most of the day was spent having really good tidy and clean of the house. I also reorganised the girls wardrobes and put all the washing away. I also wrote and scheduled a couple of blog posts.

After school I picked up the girls and we headed to Hampton Court. As we have a membership, I try to go as often as possible and going for a couple of hours after school always works really well for us. We usually go for a long play in The Magic Garden, but we just missed entry this time as they had a private function. So we decided to wander round the gardens, which were looking absolutely stunning.

Wednesday:

Fay and I try to have bestie blog days as often as possible. These involve lots of inappropriate chat, pretty places, nice food and a lot of photographs. We started Wednesday by taking a trip to the lavender fields with Fay’s mum. I always feel so lucky to have somewhere so beautiful just a short drive from my house. As well as having a lovely walk, we also tried a lavender cream tea.

A post shared by Catherine (@vintage_frills) on

I share a lot of my everyday outfits which don’t make it onto the blog, over on Instagram. I’m wearing the Cath Kidston London Parks dress here. I have been wanting this dress for absolutely ages, as the print reminds me of special days at the park with the kids. So when it went down to £40 in the sale Rob bought it for me as a little gift. I’ve just chucked on my most comfy Converse to go with it, as we walked a lot that day.

We then jumped on the tube to Victoria and sampled some donuts from Crosstown. I had a very indulgent peanut butter one and faye had a matcha tea one. They were absolutely delicious.

We stopped at Notes coffee to get a drink to go with our donuts and were delighted that they were doing free coffee that day!

We then headed over to South Kensington for a blogger preview of the brand new courtyard and gallery at the V&A. I’ve already written about it and shared lots of pics, but here are a couple more that isn’t make it onto the main post.

Thursday:

I don’t think I actually took any pics on Thursday, I just spent the whole day writing posts and editing pictures. After school I took Jess to her youth club. I need to try to be a bit more interesting everyday!

Friday:

Friday is always my selling day. As well as blogging mothering and freelance writing I also have an Etsy shop and sell vintage on eBay every week. On Fridays I photograph all my stock and work on my listings. I’m saving for a holiday at the moment so I’ve been selling some of my own collection as well as my usual stock. Although I keep my eBay separate from my blog, there are lots of lovely things on my Etsy too.

I wasn’t feeling very well on Friday afternoon as I had a really bad headache. Too much screen time and not enough sleep had got a bit too much for me, so I had a nap in the afternoon, which I never do. I’m really bad at getting enough sleep and I need to make a bit more effort to not get burnt out.

On Friday evening I drove me and Faye over our friends house for pizza, gossip and a bit of trashy TV watching. It did me so much good to chill out and have a giggle.

Saturday:

As Rob was fishing for the last few days, I had the kids to myself all weekend. We started the weekend off chilling and watching lots of Disney films together. In the afternoon we picked up Faye and went fruit and veg picking at Garson Farm in Esher.

Sunday:

I have nothing exciting to report from Sunday which involved lots of Disney films, housework, food shopping and cuddles with the kids.

News, Updates and Plans.

So that’s last week. I have a few nice things planned for this week as well as lots and lots of writing and photography to do. Work wise it’s going to be a busy one and July is also the most crazy month in the school calendar, with lots of sports days, showcases, fairs and shows to go to. We also have some meetings at Jess’s new high school, where she will be starting in September. As I’m planning to take a month off work in the summer I need to get ahead with work so it’s all going to be a bit crazy!

I have a couple of new articles in this months Vintage Life, which you can get your hands on here.

If you haven’t already bought the Spring issue of In Retrospect Magazine, I would highly recommend it. I have written a long article about my family history and the rest of the magazine is packed with amazing articles and vintage stuff too.

Reading:

At the moment I’m re reading all my Nancy Mitford books. I recently picked up an old copy of Don’t Tell Alfred in a second hand bookshop. I love the Penguins with the orange spines, so if I spot one of my favourite books, I’ll always pick them up. I’m definitely enjoying reading an older copy of a much loved book. I really love the illustration on this one, so might try to find a better copy yo display.

Weekly Goals:

This week I am going to try to get a bit more ahead with work and get more sleep, so i don’t get over tired again. If you catch me on twitter after 10pm, tell me to go to bed! My only other goal is to remember to take more pictures of everyday life for next weeks post.

Weekly Wishlist:

I thought it would be fun to add an outfit that I am currently coveting to my weekly round up. At the moment I’m really enjoying wearing pretty dresses with comfy sandals or Converse and just going for a much more toned down casual vintage inspired look. I thought these three would look so lovely together!

What are your plans and goals for the next seven days?

I’ll be doing individual blog posts on some of the places I visited this week, so keep a look out for those as well as lots of outfits, book reviews and baking posts over the next few weeks.

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I’m a little bit obsessed with iced tea at the moment and I’m really enjoying finding new ways to brew my favourite teas into delicious and refreshing summer drinks. A couple of weeks ago I shared my peach iced tea recipe and today I have another delicious offering for you. This time I was approached by T2 to see if I’d like to try one of the recipes from their website.

This time I’ve tried Citrus Squash, a delicious blend of two fruity summer teas – Turkish Apple chunky and Southern Sunrise.

Turkish Apple Chunky, is one of the more simple offerings from T2 and just contains chunky pieces of apple. Its a great tea for blending with others and I’m definitely going to be experimenting with this one a lot.

Southern Sunrise is one of my new favourites. It contains apple, white hibiscus, apple pomace, sweet blackberry leaves, lemongrass and grapefruit peel making it deliciously fresh and fruity. It has the most amazing smell too.

To make the iced tea you will need:

  • 8 teaspoons Southern Sunrise
  • 8 teaspoons Turkish Apple Chunky
  • 500 ml/17 fl oz soda water
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • Orange and lemon slices, to garnish
  • 2L T2 Jug-a-lot

How to Make:

  1. Add teas to the infuser of your 2L T2 Jug-a-lot and half fill with boiling water. Infuse for 30 minutes then remove infuser and leave to cool for 1 hour.
  2. Add soda water and orange juice. Fill with ice and decorate with orange and lemon slices.

We really enjoyed drinking this lovely iced tea, even the kids liked it. Its a great alternative to a sugary fizzy drink and tastes like a healthy version of Fanta or Tango.

This would be ideal for summer barbecues and parties and its definitely one we’ll be making a lot this summer.

I have a few more iced tea recipes coming up over the next few weeks, so if you enjoyed this one keep your eyes peeled. You can also find lots of tea recipes on the T2 website.

*Thank you to T2 for sending me the tea featured in this post. All opinions and the tea jug are my own. 

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The V&A has always been one of my favourite museums, no other place houses so many beautiful objects and curiosities and such a variety of beautifully designed items. There is something new to discover in every corner and each time I visit I discover some new treasure to admire.

The area of South Kensington which houses the museums is lovingly referred to as Albertropolis, owing to the cluster of museums, being the brainchild of Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. This includes the wonderful V&A a museum which celebrates all forms of art and design.

I often think of Prince Albert and his vision for the museum and how pleased he would be to see it enjoyed by millions of visitors every year. And I feel he would definitely approve of the latest addition to the museum. This week sees the launch of a new entrance, a new courtyard for visitors to relax in and an inspiring new exhibition space to house the museums temporary exhibitions. Collectively these new spaces are known as The Exhibition Road Quarter.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to see the new spaces before the opening this Friday. We were introduced to the project and shown round by curators and architects who worked on the new areas and I was blown away by the impressive finished space.

Having not previously had an entrance on Exhibition Road, alongside the Natural History Museum and The Science Museum, the V&A were keen to open up an area that had previously been home to a boiler house. Visitors to the museum have increased to over 8 million in recent years, so a new entrance was a necessity. Architect Amanda Levete and her practice AL_A won the project and got to work creating a space that is both functional and unique.

The new area is accessed from the street via The Aston Web Screen. This was formally a high and domineering wall, blocking views of the boiler house that had previously been on the site. The wall bore the scars of shrapnel damage from a WW2 bomb that had fallen near by. After a lot of hard work to get planning permission, the wall was opened up into columns, to allow visitors to walk in from the street. The new gates within the colonade were fabricated to include impressions of the original damage, paying homage to the past. I loved this design element, which is very in the spirit of the V&A.

Once you have passed through the impressive new colonnade, you are greeted by The Sackler Courtyard, the first porcelain courtyard in the world. This beautiful space is paved with 11,000 handmade tiles, which were inspired by the rich tradition of ceramics at the museum. The area also houses a new cafe. I absolutely love the contrast between the ornate Victorian building and the clean curves and bright modernity of the new tiled courtyard. Its wonderful to see external walls and features of the original building that were previously hidden away as well.

The Sackler Courtyard, V&A Exhibition Road Quarter, designed by AL_A ©Hufton+Crow

Past the courtyard you will find the new entrance to the museum The Blavatnik Hall. This lovely open space has glass walls bringing you a view into the museum garden. This area really brings the museum together and makes other areas of the museum far more accessible.

You can then reach the new exhibition space down a winding modern staircase. The huge open expanse that greets you as you enter the Sainsbury Gallery is breathtaking. It is built directly under the courtyard and creating a column free open space of this size, below ground is a hugely impressive feat of engineering. The hall is lit from above by skylights which also allow you to see in from the courtyard. I loved seeing peeps of the Victorian building above us. This was a rare opportunity to see the gallery empty. As it will be the home of the museums major temporary exhibitions it will usually be divided off by partitions.

At the event we had the chance to sample some of the lovely food from Benugo, that will be served in the courtyard cafe. This would be a great place to share coffee and a cake with friends or stop off for a delicious lunch. I’ve always really liked the other food areas at the museum and I think this is going to be another I’ll really enjoy visiting.

A special mention must also be made for the loos. I always judge a place by the quality of the facilities and all the visitors were blown away by the clean lines and stylish pink walls. No area of the new addition isn’t completely design focussed, this is the V&A after all. Both male and female toilets also have baby changing facilities, which I know makes life much easier for parents visiting with littles ones.

I really enjoyed my visit and really felt inspired by the light, design and creativity of the space. I loved the daring architecture, which begins its own chapter in the history of the museum, rather than just continuing the existing one. I love that its brings something completely new to a much-loved building without needing to emulate it. Most of all I love the idea of people visiting these new areas, making memories and having fun.

To celebrate the opening of the new spaces, the museum is hosting a week-long free public festival. Reveal offers the public the chance to experience the spaces before they host their first exhibitions this Autumn. There will plenty to see for all ages including art, fashion and family activities.

I would really recommend a visit, just to appreciate the amazing architecture and engineering behind this impressive project. I’m definitely looking forward to returning and seeing how the spaces are used in the future.

You can find out all about the museum, the festival and the new areas on the V&A website.

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I love exciting new launches and buying pretty things from lovely small businesses. I was delighted when the lovely Kate Beavis announced her new venture – The Vintage Pin Club. The club celebrates iconic items from the 20th Century, by recreating them as adorable little pins.

Each month the club brings you a new vintage inspired pin. I absolutely love pin badges and really like the idea of building a little collection of them. Each pin is limited to 100, so once they’re gone they’re gone. The pins are available as a monthly subscription or as one off pieces.

Kate sent me the first pin to try and being a vintage kitchen geek, the Pyrex themed pin was just perfect for me. As usual I’ve been a bad blogger and I’m only just posting about May’s badge. These are still available on Kate’s Etsy shop though.

The pins are lovely quality and I love the rose gold coloured base. This would look ridiculously cute on a cardigan with a pretty pink vintage dress, I might put mine on my apron as I’m always baking!

The pin for June is also completely gorgeous. It features a sweet little dog toy on wheels, another lovely nostalgic item. I am so exited to see what pins Kate comes up with next.

You can sign up to a subscription or buy one off pins over on Kate’s website.

*Big thanks to Kate for sending me the Pyrex pin to review. All opinions are my own.

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